COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The University of Missouri School of Medicine said Thursday that it enrolled 103 people in Phase 3 clinical trials for a new coronavirus vaccine.
The clinical trial is testing the safety and effectiveness of NVX-CoV2373 which was developed by the U.S. biotechnology company Novavax. The trials for the Novavax vaccine involve 30,000 people across approximately 115 sites in the United States and Mexico.
The 103 participants in the Phase 3 trials will randomly receive the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine in two doses, 21 days apart. According to the release, two-thirds of the participants will get the vaccine and a third of the volunteers will get the placebo. The participants will be followed for two years and eventually, every individual participating in the trial will receive the vaccine.
According to the news release, the study includes diverse representation within the candidates spread among race, ethnicity and age who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
The NVX-CoV2373 coronavirus vaccine would not require freezing temperatures which would make it easier to transport and store. According to the School of Medicine release, the vaccine would require storage temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees celsius which equates to around 35-46 degrees Fahrenheit. The vaccine will be packaged in vials with 10 doses each.
“It does not have this requirement, which makes it much easier logistically to distribute, whether in areas that are hard to reach in the U.S., rural areas, and as well as developing countries, because these refrigerators, these are not widely available,” said Dr. Dima Dandachi, an MU Health Care infectious disease physician.
Dandachi is the principal investigator of the trials and assistant professor at the MU School of Medicine.
"This study is another milestone in the unprecedented worldwide response that has resulted in the rapid deployment of products designed to end this pandemic as quickly as possible," Dandachi said.
The NVX-CoV2373 coronavirus vaccine is a protein-based vaccine made from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. It uses a different technology than vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
"By participating in research on the COVID-19 vaccine, we are able to support the truth and counter myths and rumors," Dandachi said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to these participants who are moving science forward and being part of the effort to fight COVID-19.”
MU Health Care is hosting a mass vaccination clinic Thursday through Saturday at Faurot Field. MU Health Care spokesman Eric Maze said that as of 7:45 a.m. Thursday, around 500 spots were available for Friday and over 650 spots were available for Saturday.
According to the state dashboard, Boone County is the most-vaccinated jurisdiction in the state with 39.3% of the population receiving at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Cole County is the 12th-most vaccinated jurisdiction with 30.9% of the population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
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